Other Names for this Disease
- Dejerine-Klumpke palsy
- Klumpke's palsy
- Lower brachial plexus palsy
Your QuestionWhat is the chance for children with Klumpke paralysis to recover arm and hand strength and mobility? How might Klumpke paralysis be treated? Will surgery benefit my child?
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Questions on this page
Klumpke paralysis is caused by an injury to the nerves of the brachial plexus which may result from a difficult delivery. This injury can cause a stretching (neuropraxia,), tearing (called “avulsion” when the tear is at the spine, and “rupture” when it is not), or scarring (neuroma) of the brachial plexus nerves. Most infants with Klumpke paralysis have the more mild form of injury (neuropraxia) and often recover within 6 months.
Most infants recover from neuropraxia within 4 months. Parents or guardians of infants that show no evidence of spontaneous recovery at 4 months, may be counseled regarding additional treatment options. These treatment options may include:
- Surgery on the nerves (e.g., nerve grafts and neuroma excision)
- Tendon transfers to help the muscles that are affected by nerve damage work better
Ruchelsman DE, Pettrone S, Price AE, Grossman J. Brachial Plexus Birth Palsy: An overview of early treatment options. Bulletin of the NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases. 2009;67(1):83-9.
- Brachial palsy in newborns. MedlinePlus. 2009; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001395.htm. Accessed 2/24/2010.
- Hill A. Neurological problems of the newborn. In: Bradley WG et al. Neurology in Clinical Practice, 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Butterworth-Heinemann; 2008;
- NINDS Erb-Duchenne and Dejerine-Klumpke Palsies Information Page National. Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. 2007; http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/brachial_plexus_birth/brachial_plexus_birth.htm. Accessed 2/24/2010.